The Boston Marathon is 14 weeks away!! YESSSSS!!! The weekly run volume is starting to grow and the daily run workouts are beginning to get ever so slightly more challenging! The past week and a half brought forth my first race of the season, a run volume of just under 50 miles/week and two nasty effort runs (Tempo Tuesday and 15+ mi long run Friday). It may seem like I’m doing all the right things in my training because I’m logging the miles, getting the necessary sleep and pushing the pace. BUT… one thing has seriously been missing this past week (and I’m feeling it!!): proper fueling and nutrition.
This past week I was smashed with juggling work at the running store, parenting Lilly in the evenings/weekend, crafting training plans for 3 AWESOME new athletes (wahoo!!) and managing my other 9 SUPER AMAZING athletes. Yep, I was a wee bit crunched for time and I hate to admit it, but I let my nutrition slide. I ate out three times (yikes!), made ice cream sundaes with Lillian a few too many times (the kid made me do it!) and noshed on a few too many 1/4 cup servings of trail mix (but seriously, WHO ON EARTH only eats 1/4 serving of trail mix?!?! Anyone? Bah! I refuse to give up my trail mix!). While I love to snack and indulge from time to time the reality is this: If you put crap in, you get crap out. After eating semi-sludge for a week I just feel gross and I have been feeling sluggish on my runs. It’s nothing that can’t be corrected with a few adjustments, but I will need to begin to consciously make better decisions regarding my daily nutrition! The reality is that I know what I need to do and there are no excuses. I have been lazy and I can (and will) make better choices with regards to my nutrition!
Here are a few simple “rules” that I typically abide by with my nutrition that don’t lead me astray… rule that I need to follow more closely in the coming weeks!
1. Eat to run; do not run to eat! Eat protein packed and nutrient dense foods that will help me recover better from past runs and perform better on future runs, rather than eating heavy, calorie dense foods “because I’ll burn it off tomorrow.”
2. Never leave the house without healthy on-the-go snacks. I typically eat every 2-3 hours, so this rule is a must for consistently making healthy choices.
3. Fuel with REAL FOOD, not processed food. My typical snacks: bananas, cantelope, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, apple, carrots, broccoli, red pepper strips, mixed nuts, Kind bars, and greek yogurt.
4. Dinners don’t need to be complicated to be healthy. More lean meat, more veggies and a small amount of starch/carbs. Chicken, fish, tuna (because it’s only kind of a fish, right), ground turkey. I have been throwing lean meats over a salad and calling it a meal. I know that may be boring to many, but it’s easy to cook for one that way and helps me get in all the right food groups!
5. I can ONLY have cookies when they are homemade! Best “rule” I have made to date!
I may be logging all the miles in the training plan, but if I REALLY want to make progress on the road then I need to get my nutrition in line and that starts NOW! Next week I will eat fewer meals out, more healthy snack and by all means FEWER helpings of ice cream! It might not be perfect, but it’s a start and some change is better than no change!
*My week in review: I started training for the Boston Marathon on 12/1/15. I have spent the past 6 weeks safely growing my run volume to a solid base mileage of about 40-45 miles a week. Now that my run volume is secured I will start adding in even more intensity into my training. Take note of the brief overview of my workouts from last week. Even though I ran all 7 days, FIVE of the days were held at either an easy or very easy pace! This allows for my body to absorb a lot of my training volume without breaking down my body too quickly. You may wonder how do I know if I am training at an “easy” pace? I use a heart rate monitor to track my HR during my workouts. My coach Beth from Your26.2 calculated my unique HR training zones given my specific run data/history. Now I use these zones to structure and guide every single training run. Honestly, it takes the guessing out of training. I never ask myself “am I going too easy?” or “am I REALLY capable of more?” Numbers don’t lie! My heart rate monitor can tell me if I’m holding back and need to dig deeper on a training run!!
M-Recovery, short (very easy)
T-Tempo, mid distance (hard)
W- Recovery, short (very easy)
Th- Base/conversational pace, mid distance (easy)
F- Long (2 hr run: 90 min easy, last 30 hard)
Sat- Recovery, short (very easy)
Sun- Base/conversational pace, mid distance (easy)
I want to highlight the fact that even though I ran for a total of 400 minutes last week, only about 55 minutes was completed at zone 2/a more challenging tempo pace. So, only 25% of my run volume is complete at a tougher, more challenging pace. On the flip side that means 75% of my runs are ran at a super comfortable, easy, conversational pace. Sounds manageable, doesn’t it? It is! (I talk more about the benefits of training to heart rate HERE.) By training easier most of the time my body isn’t broken down and feels fresher when it is time to push hard on the tough workouts!!
Here’s how last week shook out…
Miles- 3.7 miles @ 9:40s (recovery from Frozen 5K)
Meals- Grilled chicken with shaved Parmesan cheese, cucumber and tomatoes over spinach salad, served with steamed string beans.
Simple. Quick. Healthy.
Miles- 7.5 miles with tempo intervals @ 7:33 pace and 7:24 pace (2×12 min tempo)
*After taking 4 days off to rest my food in the previous training week I found it harder to hit my typical tempo paces (7:10); Coach Beth reminded me that even a few days off will result in a slight loss of fitness that is easy to get back but will be noticeable when training to heart rate.
Meals- Tuna salad over a garden salad with steamed string beans. (the week seemed to start off so well…. but this was followed by ice cream)
Miles- 3 miles @ 9:50 pace (recovery); 30 min TRX strength training
Meals- Family dinner @ Alfredos in Quincy ~ Rigatoni Bolognese (not pictured)
Miles- 7.6 miles @ 7:55 pace (comfortable)
Meals- BBQ chicken, sweet potato fries (just sliced up and baked in oven!) and steamed broccoli.
Miles- Long run!! 15.5 miles @ 8:04 pace (11 miles @ 8:10 pace, final 4.5 miles @ 7:33 tempo) and ROLLING HILLS!
Meals- Breakfast for dinner aka I don’t feel like cooking a real meal 🙂 Apple cinnamon walnut pancakes with strawberries, banana and cooked apples (while playing chutes and ladders, obviously :)) Don’t kid yourself- Lillian and I clinked mugs and said “cheers” before we gobbled down ice cream sundaes AGAIN… oops.!
Miles– 3.7 miles @ 10:20 pace on the tread (recovery)
Meals- Italian take out from Gennaros ~ Penne vodka with sausage, artichoke and green peppers. Soooo delicious! This restaurant gives huge portions so tend to take half (or less) out of the container to eat and leave the rest for another day). It’s definitely not healthy, but at least its semi-portion controlled.
Miles- 7 miles @ 8:14 pace (conversational pace)
Meals- Leftovers from Gennaros. I originally thought this was a good idea; I thought wrong!! Nooooo! After 3 bites I felt sick to my stomach and pitched the pasta. I just couldn’t do another night of heavy pasta. But at least the asparagus was homemade and healthy.
Total miles: 48.3
UP NEXT WEEK: 50+ miles !!! wahoo!!!
YESSSSSSS!!!! MORE MILES!! MORE HILLS! FEWER ICE CREAM SUNDAES/EATING OUT!! I’M COMING FOR YOU HEARTBREAK HILL!!
NEVER STOP RUNNING,